Film Friday: Through the Ground Glass




I love this short video about a large format photographer Joe Allen Freeman by Hawk Bolt Productions.

Through the Ground Glass from Taylor Hawkins on Vimeo.

I didn’t always work in video in fact I start my career as a photographer when I helped set up a music and lifestyle magazine in Seoul South Korea. Photography really was my life for the longest time and I’ve only gradually moved into video as the market demands have changed. I still do love photography but as we are being exposed to more and more photography online through social media and advertising its getting harder and harder to find the quality work.

I started off taking photos with a film camera much like anyone else. I can still remember the excitement of being allowed to take photographs on family holidays when I was a kid. I can still remember being given my first camera and taking photos on a trip to Disney-world in Florida in 1989.

That excitement of getting the photos back from the developer was intense and only surpassed by learning to develop black and white film in high school. For me it was the perfect marriage of science and art literally poetry in motion watching the chemicals react and the image slowly exposing beneath the ripples of the water in the developing bath. Unfortunately I didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked on photography during my high school years sports and studies kept me pretty busy.

Heading to university I also didn’t really take many photos primarily because of a crappy camera I’d bought and the very nature of the University of Bath, which was basically a Science and technology school with very few if any art courses. It was only on my travels when I was being exposed to new places, cultures and landscapes and people that I picked up my camera and really started to get back into photography. Travelling through Central America and later in South East Asia I really fell back in love with photography resulting in my backpack being comprised of 50% clothes and 50% film!

Moving to Asia in 2003 I decided that I wanted to focus on photography and spent every spare moment I had taking photos or reading and finding courses online on photography. The persistence eventually bore fruit after moving to Seoul I became involved with a small English language magazine and ended up being responsibly for almost all the photography which really confirmed to me that I wanted to pursue a career in photography. By the early 2000’s the first digital SLR cameras started to appear and I started to use them for convenience more than anything else. It did change the way I practiced photography but it also allowed me to improve and learn at a much faster pace than through film.

I haven’t really looked back and have on and off used some film cameras mainly a Holga and TLR but never really felt comfortable about the process and the delay and whilst I’d love to work on a long term project using film I haven’t yet committed to it or out of pure laziness revert to using digital. The closest I cam was purchasing a large format camera in China it didn’t happen and watching this video really made me think about trying to start a project in the Philippines with such a camera. The problem though with everything in life these days is to try justifying the expense when I have a small business to run.

Posted on October 17, 2014 in Photography, Travel, Video

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About the Author

Videographer and Managing Director for Exposure Media Production
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